April 23-29, 2017
Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (MLPW) provides the profession with a unique opportunity to increase public understanding of and appreciation for clinical laboratory personnel. Read about fun ideas to celebrate.
Visit the official MLPW store to purchase promotional items to help celebrate and promote the week. Many laboratorians wear buttons or t-shirts with the official logo during the celebratory week to increase others' awareness.
MLPW, which takes place the last full week in April each year, is coordinated by a collaborative committee with representatives from 16 national clinical laboratory organizations ,including ASCLS. Now in it's 42nd year, it is important to reflect on the important history of MLPW.
Medical Laboratory Professionals Week originated in 1975 as National Medical Laboratory Week, or NMLW, under the auspices of the American Society for Medical Technology, now called the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS). In subsequent years, other organizations have served as cosponsors and campaign supporters.
Focus on the Person
In the fall of 2005, NMLW was changed to National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (NMLPW) to emphasize the person whose expertise is needed in the performance of laboratory testing. Beginning in 2010 the organizers decided to "brand" the event by using the same theme each year: Laboratory Professionals Get Results. In the summer of 2012 organizers deleted "National" from the title for brevity, and it became Medical Laboratory Professionals Week.
There are approximately 300,000 practitioners of clinical laboratory science in the United States. Since the development of this career group in the 1920s, the clinical laboratory science professional has played an increasingly vital role in the diagnosis and prevention of disease. Today, the clinical laboratorian is a key member of a health care team.
As team members of one of the largest industries in the United States, the dedicated efforts of laboratory professionals often go unnoticed by the general public, as well as by the very institutions employing their services. With the public now demanding the assurance of quality health care and professional accountability, organizations representing practitioners of this critical science have a responsibility to ensure that the public is well informed about clinical laboratory competency.
Increase Awareness of the Profession
Beyond meeting this public need, the celebration of MLPW will help increase recognition for the profession as it improves the individual practitioner's sense of self-worth. Further, as the various professional groups within laboratory practice work together on this project, the sense of unity and purpose necessary to further the goals of all laboratorians are reinforced.
Many members plan displays, open houses and various other activities in their institutions or local areas. Some have obtained proclamations by mayors or governors while others have been featured on local TV and radio stations. National MLPW has been successful in increasing the recognition of clinical laboratory science among the healthcare community and general public.
We encourage you to use our hashtag - #lab4life. For laboratory professionals, this hashtag is a statement of our dedication to the profession. To the general public, it illustrates how quality laboratory results can lead to a healthier life. Use this hashtag to show others your pride in being a laboratory professional.
For MLPW 2016, ASCLS issued a 30 Day Challenge. We challenged laboratory professionals to 30 days of sharing about daily life as a laboratory professional using the prompt below. Thank you to all who participated. If you would like to issue your own #Lab4Life 30 Day Challenge, visit the Promotion of the Profession website for more information about this idea and others.
Day 1: Write about your first job or internship
Day 2: List 5 things you love about medical laboratory science
Day 3: Write about your average day at work or school
Day 4: What gives your career meaning?
Day 5: What one thing did someone do for you that made you know you were appreciated professionally?
Day 6: How did you find out about a career in MLS?
Day 7: What are your career goals?
Day 8: Thank another healthcare professional
Day 9: Name one laboratory practice that carries over into your personal life
Day 10: Post a self portrait in your lab coat
Day 11: What’s in your lab coat pocket?
Day 12: What do you get excited about at work or school?
Day 13: Write about someone who inspires you in your career
Day 14: Write about your best day at work or school
Day 15: What is important to you at work or school
Day 16: Name a few of your strengths
Day 17: Write about someone who helped you when you were struggling
Day 18: Post a silly photo of you and a coworker or classmate in the lab
Day 19: Say something nice about your coworkers or classmates
Day 20: Give us your best advice to a new employee or graduate
Day 21: What do you do to improve your skills?
Day 22: What is your favorite test to perform?
Day 23: Name 3 things you’re grateful for at work or school
Day 24: What do you do to relieve stress?
Day 25: What shift do you work and what do you like best about that shift.
Day 26: What is the weirdest question you’ve ever gotten in the lab?
Day 27: Share something funny that happened at work or school
Day 28: What made you become a medical laboratory professional?
Day 29: What is your most recent accomplishment?
Day 30: Correct a common misconception of medical laboratory professionals
An objective of MLPW is to educate healthcare professionals, the public, and others about the role of the laboratory professional in patient care. ASCLS has many items available that can be used for this effort.
Purchase MLPW promotional items at the official MLPW online store.
Other items, described below, are available; some require purchase.
- 2016 MLPW logo (jpg) in full color and black-and-white
- Download the MLPW Promotional Guide, filled with ideas for celebrating and building awareness about the profession
- Tent Cards and Magnets - purchase templates to print your own supply of Tent Cards and Magnets with the official MLPW 2016 logo; visit the ASCLS Online Store to purchase
- Badge Holders, Sticky Notes Booklets, Cinch Totes and more- purchase these items with the Get Results & #Lab4Life logos for you and your co-workers! Visit the ASCLS Online Store to purchase.
- ADVANCE Newsmagazines Lab Week Resource Center
- Clinical Lab Tests and Disease - a trifold flyer develped by the East Carolina University Clinical Lab Science Program. It describes who performs laboratory testing and provides a table to explain what common blood and urine tests can help to identify.
- A Life Saved: Laboratory Professionals Make A Difference Video - poignant and moving video that inspires and empowers laboratory professionals to articulate the importance of their contributions to patient care.
- Patient Safety Tips Flyers - created by the ASCLS Patient Safety Committee to educate patients on blood specimen collection and fasting; with MLPW 2016 logo
- Personal Pocket Lab Guide - this small flyer was developed by the ASCLS Patient Safety Committee. It is designed for patients to use to track their commonly performed lab tests; personalize with your lab's contact information
- Lab Tests Online — an unprecedented resource for healthcare consumers to understand the meaning of their laboratory test results; information about how to promote this site is available at the website.
- Labs Are Vital - a website with resources to promote and celebrate laboratory professionals everywhere
- Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Laboratory video - view short video describing the value of laboratory professionals
- Maxine cartoon - John Wagner, of Maxine fame, drew a lab cartoon years ago picturing Maxine and Obie with a microscope and blood samples on the counter in honor of MLPW. Carol Daniels, retired program director from Indian River State College (FL), was his sister. The cartoon was his contribution to our profession. Thanks to Marilyn Barbour and IRSC for making this available.
- Lab Week Run - Participate in the 2nd Annual Lab Week Run! More information coming soon! Get a group of coworkers together and participate in this virtual 5K.